Trends in Operating Room Procedures

Trends in Operating Room Procedures in U.S. Hospitals, a statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), presents data on trends in operating room (OR) procedures from 2001 through 2011. Over time, some OR procedures have become more prevalent while others have decreased in frequency. Such trends may reflect changing standards in surgical care, the introduction of new surgical techniques, a shift in procedure setting from inpatient to outpatient, or an aging population, among other reasons.


  • In 2011, over 15 million OR procedures were performed in U.S. hospitals. Although the overall number of procedures remained stable from 2001-2011, the mix of procedures changed.
  • In 2001, musculoskeletal procedures constituted 17.9 percent of all procedures. By 2011, this figure rose to 24.2 percent, which is a 38 percent increase in 11 years. Within the musculoskeletal system, knee arthroplasty had the largest growth in volume, nearly doubling between 2001 and 2011 (a 93 percent increase). Approximately 718,500 knee arthroplasties were performed in 2011. There was a 70 percent growth in spinal fusion during the 11-year period.
  • Among digestive-related procedures, appendectomies decreased by 13 percent, while colorectal resection and cholecystectomy procedures remained relatively stable over time.
  • Two common cardiovascular procedures decreased from 2001-2011. Coronary artery bypass graft procedures decreased by nearly half to 213,700 procedures in 2011, and percutaneous coronary angioplasty decreased by more than one-fourth to 560,500 procedures in 2011.

Select to access Trends in Operating Room Procedures in U.S. Hospitals.

Current as of March 2014
Internet Citation: Trends in Operating Room Procedures. March 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.